Man, Who Is Charged with Killing a Missing Georgia Teacher, Has Confessed More Than a Decade Later

At a hearing Monday, Ryan Duke's lawyers argued he's not a "flight risk" and poses no threat to the public


Bond was denied Monday for the man accused of killing a popular Georgia high school history teacher in the fall of 2005.

Alleged to have murdered Tara Grinstead, a 30-year-old educator and former beauty queen, Ryan Duke, 35, was seeking a $10,000 bond, citing his limited financial resources.

Duke’s lawyers insisted he was not a “flight risk” and posed no danger to the community at large, according to a video from the five-hour hearing, obtained by local news station WMAZ.

An Irwin County Superior Court judge was not swayed and rejected the motion.

Duke was arrested two years ago and charged with Grinstead’s murder as well as burglary, aggravated assault and concealment of a body.

At Monday’s hearing, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Jason Shoudel took the stand, testifying that Duke confessed to his alleged crimes.

“He admitted that he was the person responsible,” Shoudel explained.

AP Photo/Elliott Minor

Prosecutors believe that Duke was the only one who actually murdered Grinstead. A second man, Bo Dukes, 34, is accused of helping him get rid of the body.

Despite the similar last names, the two suspects are not related, although they both attended Irwin County High School, where Grinstead taught.

Grinstead was last seen leaving a dinner party on Oct. 22, 2005. A contestant in three Miss Georgia pageants, it took 11 years for police to make a break in the cold case.

Duke and Dukes have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Duke’s trial is set to begin April 1.

Attempts to reach their lawyers for comment were unsuccessful Tuesday.

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Prosecutors allege that Dukes helped hide Grinstead’s body at a pecan farm near her home, where they also burned her remains.

It was unclear Tuesday when Dukes’ case will head to trial.

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